Christmassy pickled herring

The apartment is almost ready for Christmas, Christmas tree is put but the menu is still in progress. I’m still looking for perfect recipes, I waver between traditional and new recipes. Probably because of that it was quite sweet on the blog lately. Sweets are so much easier to pick, but I don’t want you to think Polish Christmas is only sweet. It isn’t. It’s fishy, it’s rich in fragrances and spices. I will tell you more about Polish Christmas in the next post. I know, that for most of you fish and Christmas may not make sense, but you can use this recipe whenever you like. It’s perfect for winter. Herring is unappreciated fish. It’s fatty and good for you. Its population is big enough so you shouldn’t worry when you buy it and there is loads of recipes to try, for example this herring in mustard sauce.

christmasy pickled herring

christmasy pickled herring
Christmassy pickled herring

The recipe comes from Trufla’s blog. I’ve never been a person that likes herrings, but her recipes converted me. This recipe is sweet and delicate. It also looks beautiful, thanks to its colour.

Christmasy pickled herring

Recipe from Trufla

  • 1/2 kg herring fillets (preferably soused herrings)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 allspice berries
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • a handful of raisins
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of ground ginger
Soak herring fillets for a few hours (or over the night) in cold water or milk. It will make it more tender and delicate.
Remove the liquids and cut herrings into 2-cm pieces.
Heat the oil in a medium pan.
Fry the onions until translucent.
Add sugar, bay leaves and allspice berries.
Simmer on a small heat for a minute.
Add a pinch of salt, tomato paste, vinegar, raisins, pinch of ginger and pinch of turmeric.
Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion will be soft. Stir it from time to time.
Leave it to cool.
In a big jar arrange a layer of herrings, cover it with the sauce. Repeat until you run out of ingredients. The last layer should be the sauce.
Leave it in a fridge for at least 3 days for flavours to develop.

6 thoughts on “Christmassy pickled herring

  1. Dopiero teraz przeczytalam twoj przepis. Bardzo ciekawy! Ja juz wspominalam ja bardzo lubie sledzie,ale zawsze kupuje je tradycyjnie przadzone, w oleju z cebula. Niegdy nie probowalam aby je zrobic. Mam nadzieje ze kiedys wyprobuje twoj przepis:)


  2. Pingback: How Polish Christmas smells like? - Magda's Cauldron

  3. Yum! I’ve been a big fan of pickled fish lately… It’s definitely not a typical American flavour profile, so it took me a while to get used to it but I do love it now. I’ve never had any pickled herring quite as colourful as this, though 🙂 Would like to try it.


    • Hi Irina, great to hear that. I know pickled fish is quite special when it comes to flavour. I wasn’t fan of herring a few years ago, but once I started trying different recipes I found combinations I really enjoy. If you ever visit Dublin, give me a shout I will prepare a batch of herring for you 🙂


  4. Pingback: 2013 snapshots - Magda's Cauldron

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s